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Wheatsone English Concertina 1920


Jim Cheetham
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I am not a concertina player (Scottish Traditional guitar and vocals).

 

We have inherited a Wheatstone Concertina which I believe to be a 48 button English version. It has a serial number 24805 and my bit of research indicates that it was manufactured around the 5th May 1920.

 

All the buttons are working so it looks like the reeds are all intact and although not leaking it looks like the bellow (five fold) might need a bit of work.

 

The tuning appears to be the 'old' key but I am advised that it could be tuned to concert c.

 

It is still complete with its original box and to the best of my belief has not been played for 30 to 40 years, yet it still works.

 

I have some interest in it but, being a novice in this area, I am not sure whether the sort of prices being offered for it 'as is' are reall fair and whether it might be worth my while getting it fully restored before attempting to sell it.

 

Any advice would be gratefully accepted.

 

Kind regards to all; Jim Cheetham

 

jim@plowvent.demon.co.uk

01975581388

post-6595-1204384058_thumb.jpg

Wheatstone_Concertina_28405.doc

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We have inherited a Wheatstone Concertina which I believe to be a 48 button English version. It has a serial number 24805 and my bit of research indicates that it was manufactured around the 5th May 1920.

Jim,

 

That is indeed a 48-key English concertina, and a desirable instrument of good quality at that. However, I think you must have mistyped the serial number as 24805 would have been made around 1909, whereas yours is a "dead ringer" for the ledger description of 28405, which was made around the date you quote.

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This is a model 22 with raised ends that are showing some wear on the nickel plating, could be a very nice instrument indeed when fully serviced and tuned. There's not enough detail to name a specific price in it's present condition but a dealer is likely to offer you less than a private buyer because he has a living to make.

 

Pete.

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We have inherited a Wheatstone Concertina which I believe to be a 48 button English version. It has a serial number 24805 and my bit of research indicates that it was manufactured around the 5th May 1920.

Jim,

 

That is indeed a 48-key English concertina, and a desirable instrument of good quality at that. However, I think you must have mistyped the serial number as 24805 would have been made around 1909, whereas yours is a "dead ringer" for the ledger description of 28405, which was made around the date you quote.

 

 

Sorry my mistake, the serial number is 28405!

 

I gather it is a model 22 which I was not aware of.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Kind regards; Jim

post-6595-1204392330_thumb.jpg

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Jim

 

Where are you? If you're anywhere near Aberdeen, I could take a look and help identify the repairs needed. I'm an anglo player so may not be fully up-to-date on English values, but I could give you a start

 

Alex

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Jim

 

Where are you? If you're anywhere near Aberdeen, I could take a look and help identify the repairs needed. I'm an anglo player so may not be fully up-to-date on English values, but I could give you a start

 

Alex

 

Alex - I am in Muir of Fowlis, Alford, Aberdeenshire.

 

It seems from the advice I am getting that it is a model 22.

 

Tel: 01975581388

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It seems from the advice I am getting that it is a model 22.

This info is there for you to confirm yourself on the Wheatstone Ledger page you posted a picture of. First column is the date, second column is the model number, the diagonal line drawn on the page shows that four identical concertinas were made or sold on that day. The next column describes the actual 'tina, NP - nickel plated ends. Hex -hexagonal. 48 keys. SVWS - single valve (air lever on r/h side) and finally Wrist Straps. The leather wrist straps are missing from yours but the fixings look to be still there.

 

I've just taken a close look at the second picture you posted, the nickel plating is in very poor condition indeed being either worn away or badly pitted all over. For my money that would severely detract from the value; one off re-plating is, as I understand it, an expensive specialist repair. This doesn't affect the playing of the instrument of course but most people want their concertina to be reasonably pretty too.

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Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.

 

 

I think you wil find that is Seventeen Pounds old chap - serious money back then ........ probably six months wages for a farm labourer in a tied cottage ..... maybe not so cheap after all <_<

 

Poor old 'Hodge' the labourer would have to make do with a five bob German screamer

 

Dave

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Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.

According to the internet, the minimum wage in 1920 was £2/6 shillings & 10½d a week, based on a 50 hour working week. I can't do sums in the old money, but it'd be interesting (for me at least) if one of our older views could work out how many hours someone would have to work to buy a tina for 17 bob.

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Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.

According to the internet, the minimum wage in 1920 was £2/6 shillings & 10½d a week, based on a 50 hour working week. I can't do sums in the old money, but it'd be interesting (for me at least) if one of our older views could work out how many hours someone would have to work to buy a tina for 17 bob.

 

I was not around in the 1920's but I remember in the 1970's earning

2,000 a year which at that time was considered to be a good wage!

 

I have an offer of £1,000 for the concertina 'as is' and if someone tops that it is sold.

 

Jim

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Here is a Wheatstone price list from circa 1920. It shows that the concertina was built to a high spec and cost 17 shillings at the time (written as 17/- when I was a lad :rolleyes: ); air valve and wrist straps would have been extra I would imagine.

 

 

I think you wil find that is Seventeen Pounds old chap - serious money back then ........ probably six months wages for a farm labourer in a tied cottage ..... maybe not so cheap after all <_<

 

Poor old 'Hodge' the labourer would have to make do with a five bob German screamer

 

Dave

Wow. You answered my question while I was writing it. :lol:

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I think you wil find that is Seventeen Pounds old chap - serious money back then ........ probably six months wages for a farm labourer in a tied cottage ..... maybe not so cheap after all <_<

 

Poor old 'Hodge' the labourer would have to make do with a five bob German screamer

 

Dave

Whoops, silly me! Blimey, £17/0/0d in 1920 was a king's ransom! To put this in perspective I left college in 1971 aged 18 and my first weeks wage was £15 less deductions which left me with £10.61p in my wage packet. It seemed like (and was) a lot of money at the time because the deal included 'all found' as it was known then. To the uninitiated that means I lived in with all meals provided. This was of course over 50 years after the time when a model 22 cost £17; a pretty sobering thought that!

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Here is a link to site with info about average wages in 1920 - colliers around £4 0s 12d and pottery workers £2 8s 6d. Average wages are only one part of the story though - what was the overall cost of living at the time? A £17 concertina was a significant investment, and £26 top instruments would probably be beyond the reach of most workers.

 

There is some historical evidence though to suggest that music shops and even musical instrument manufacturers offered loan repayment terms to enable instruments to be bought by people of more modest means - not unlike say those car purchase loan schemes offered by motor manufacturers and dealers today.

 

Steve

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I have an offer of £1,000 for the concertina 'as is' and if someone tops that it is sold.

Jim,

 

That sounds like a very good offer for it, in its present condition.

 

 

Thank you sincerely for all the interest that has been shown in my Concertina and all of the kind words and advice.

 

As of this morning the concertina has been sold and has gone to very good and deserving home.

 

Thank you all; Jim Cheetham

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